Aug 5, 2009

More support for older people from non-English speaking backgrounds

More support for older people from non-English speaking backgrounds

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

August 5 2009

Member for Grayndler Anthony Albanese today announced more than $1.1 million to fund three local organisations to help make culturally appropriate aged care more accessible for the Inner West.

The three organisations are the Leichhardt-based Italian Association of Assistance (Co.As.It), the Newtown-based Greek Welfare Centre, and the Ashfield-based Polish Australian Welfare Association (PAWA).

Co.As.It will receive $443,758 over three years to assist older people in the Italian community to access residential and community aged care services through the provision of community education, cultural briefings and support for aged care staff to become more culturally sensitive, and developing capacity to deliver cultural information and resources through new media (website, DVD and videoconferencing).

The Greek Welfare Centre will receive $397,852 over three years to expand its work in the Sydney, Illawarra and Newcastle regions. Its Aged Care Support Access Project will work with the NSW Transcultural Aged Care Service to facilitate the delivery of culturally appropriate care for the Greek speaking community. Its strategies will include identification of barriers to aged care in regional and rural areas, dissemination of information through bilingual print and electronic media.

PAWA will receive $290,738 over three years to assist older people and their carers from the Czech, Slovak, Polish, Croatian, Hungarian and Serbian communities to access aged care services, information and resources. It will expand community education activities and use multicultural media outlets to disseminate information, update all current resources and translate existing resources into new languages.

These three projects will be funded under the Rudd Labor Government’s Community Partners Program, which will provides $15.6 million over three years for 77 projects to connect older people and their carers from culturally and linguistically diverse communities with aged care information and service providers.

Mr Albanese said that more than a third of Grayndler residents were born overseas and this funding was an important investment in older Australians from non-English speaking backgrounds.

“Older people born overseas or from culturally diverse backgrounds may have more difficulty finding out about their aged care options, due to language and cultural barriers," Mr Albanese said.

“Providing information about culturally appropriate care is essential to improving access to care and ensuring their healthy and positive ageing.

“We are a diverse community and we are committed to making sure people have access to the right aged care services at the right time

“The Rudd Government is committed to supporting multicultural communities to overcome any additional barriers they may face in accessing aged care services.”